Did you know that in Florida, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and the bicyclist is a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. Click here to learn more about Florida traffic safety laws as they apply to bicyclists.
The paved trail in Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park stretches across the preserve for about 6 miles. Well-spaced shelters along the trail offer pleasant places to rest in the shade; many are even furnished with ice water. The park, a short distance northwest of Tampa, is one of the largest natural areas in Pasco County. A mixture of pine woods, wetlands and palmetto scrub can be experienced here, and recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding and camping.
Opened in 2001, the Suncoast Trail is part of Florida's Statewide Greenways and Trails System. The trail parallels the Suncoast Parkway, beginning in northern Hillsborough County, and heads north through Pasco and Hernando counties. It passes through a mix of suburban, agricultural and natural areas, along which you will find rest areas and interpretive signs that illuminate the trail's historical significance and identify the local ecology.
Withlacoochee State Trail currently consists of a 46-mile paved stretch suitable for hiking, biking and horse riding enthusiasts. The Withlacoochee State Trail begins at SR 50, a mile east of I-75 and runs south to Trilby and north past the Silver Lake Campground, through the Withlacoochee State Forest, close to the Withlacoochee River, then continues through Floral City, Inverness, Citrus Springs and just south of Dunnellon. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
This moss-draped, 2-mile paved trail at Alderman's Ford Conservation Park (Lithia, FL east of Brandon, south of Plant City) was a pleasant find while checking out kayak launches on the Alafia River. The trail loops around the park, along and over the Alafia River, through cypress and oak hammock. The 1,100 acre park has parking, restrooms, picnicking, camping, hiking trails, boardwalk and a popular canoe/kayak launch. Visitor Center, $2.00 fee. Great place to take the kids!
Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, 15 miles south of Crystal River, Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area(WMA) is a remote area. A 9-mile self-guided tour (brochure online or at hunter's sign-in station) is laid out for cars and bikes, but much more biking is available on the WMA roads. The roads contain some rough and/or soft spots, but generally rideable for fat-tire bikes. Entry and exit is from the same point.
The trail is part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, running from Bridges Road in Dunnellon 2.5 miles along the scenic Rainbow River and across a bridge over the Withlacoochee River to SR41/CR39 in Citrus Springs. Eventually, it will link to the Withlacoochee State Trail (currently, via a street route) and other trails in the planned statewide network.
Fort DeSoto Park is a Pinellas County park, covering over 1,100 acres on 5 keys south of St. Petersburg at the mouth of Tampa Bay. The paved 7-mile bike trail runs from the boat ramp (near the entrance), past campgrounds and connects the east and north beaches. The park has over 7 miles of waterfront, award-winning beaches, campgrounds, snack bars, picnicking and more. A boat ramp, kayak and bike rentals are available, plus an historic fort. A ferry runs to Egmont Key, a Florida State Park. Day fee applies.
Named for Fort Fraser built in 1837 during the Second Seminole War, the trail follows an old CSX rail bed between Lakeland and Bartow in Polk County, Florida. Picnic and rest shelters are located along the way, two covered bridges and historic and informational markers (one near the location of the old fort) along the way are a nice touch. Parking in Lakeland is at Polk State College (PSC), restrooms are at the Highland City trailhead at the middle of the trail south of PSC.
The Legacy Trail runs from south Sarasota to Venice along an old Seaboard Air Line Railroad corridor. Well maintained and mostly straight, the bike trail passes through Oscar Scherer State Park, continuing to Venice, where it connects near the historic Venice Train Station to Venetian Waterway Park. With the completion of two bay bridges and the Hwy 41 overpass, the Legacy Trail has emerged as one of the most enjoyable bicycle rides in Florida. In the center section, one can ride for over 6 miles without crossing a single road. Popular with bikers, joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers, there's something for everyone - scenery, forest, waterways, parks, rivers and history, plus access to shops and restaurants. Wildlife can also be seen.
We were wow'ed by the southernmost portion of this St. Petersburg trail. Starting at Demens Landing Park (across from the start of the Pinellas Trail), we biked along the Tampa Bay waterfront through the marina district and past beaches. We continued past the Snell Isle Bridge through the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood with its stately old homes. There are 8 parks along the trail, providing ample parking.
Multi-use trail (biking, walking/hiking, horseback riding). First 2.4 miles from Sargeant Park is paved, with a portion sharing the roadway with autos (private driveway crossings). The remainder is off-road through forest at Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve and Hillsborough River State Park. Due to heat but mostly due to bugs, we recommend this as a cold-weather ride!
The popular Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail is an urban rail-trail with about 75,000 users each month, including bikers, walkers, joggers, and skateboarders. spans multiple Pinellas County cities, linking parks, coastal areas,and residential neighborhoods. While most sites show the trail as running from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs, it has been extended (now 53 miles) as part of an evolving trail loop. The Pinellas Trail also is the westernmost segment of the evolving 250-mile Florida Coast to Coast Trail.
Pinellas County - The 54-mile multi-use trail from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs is one of the premier trails in Florida and forms the western end of the Coast-to-Coast Trail. An extension along Keystone Road (also called the Tri-County Trail, see below) runs to the Pasco County line as part of the Coast-to-Coast Trail.
Upper Tampa Bay Trail, in northwest Hillsborough County is accessible from the Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas, and is one of the most popular multi-use trails for bikers, runners, walkers and skaters in theTampa Bay area. There are two sections, with unique characteristics: the lower trail includes suburban and urban features with access to restaurants and shops, while the upper trail runs through a nature preserve. There is a $2 fee.
Venetian Waterway Park is a linear park running on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway at Venice, FL. From the start at the Venice Avenue bridge (near the link with the Legacy Trail and historic Venice Train Station), it runs to Caspersen Beach on the west side (5 miles) and to Shamrock Park and Nature Center (4 miles) on the east. To go from one side to the other, cross at the Circus Bridge or at the Venice Avenue bridge. There is little shade, but benches and picnic tables provide a break. There are no road crossings along the Waterway Park, the trail goes under the bridges that cross the Intracoastal Waterway.
Every Sunday and Wednesday morning. Groups leaving at 7:45 and 8:00.